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  • #994772
    Corey
    Member
    • Total posts: 568

    5 Big SEO Lies Google Wants You To Believe
    But for the sake of your rankings, don’t.

    Makes for interesting reading and sure does blow the lid off what a lot of so called seo gurus keep saying that google tells them to say.

    Do read the article.

    http://www.link-assistant.com/news/5-SEO-myths.html

    Cheers
    Corey

    #1198284
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

    IMHO, it looks to me like we have an SEO rescrambled article put before us.

    Shall we assess the article by its 5 mythical topics?

    “1. You shouldn’t build links for the sake of SEO.”
    Google has NEVER said don’t build links. Since its inception it has said, don’t artificially manipulate links for SEO purposes.

    “2. Clicks don’t influence rankings.”
    This is another SEO Phantom myth (the ghost who walks and who will never die).

    If CTR was used as a ranking signal then over time, the top rankings of search results would be skewed by a decreasing number of websites.

    Why on earth should CTR suggest a “good” result?

    Most websites will show a very high bounce rate. People click through, see the page isn’t for them and go back to the search results.

    A “good” result may be where they finish their click-throughs. Not addressed in this argument!

    As for quoting Rand Fishkin in the article, it does not quote the interview with a Google employee on the topic where Fishkin backed down on this claim.

    I have trouble seeing the smallest smidgen of logic behind this myth when you think about it…

    “3. Keywords are no longer important.”
    “Apparently, keywords were being replaced by concepts and topics, and keyword targeting didn’t make much sense anymore.”

    What on earth is the basis for this statement? There is none to my knowledge, therefore the entire premise for this point collapses.

    “4. Social signals do not have SEO value.”
    Not this again…

    I predict that this myth is likely to replace the “keyword metatag” myth as the longest surviving SEO myth of ALL TIME.

    The current facts:

    • Google treats links from social media pages the same as from any other web page
    • Many social media pages are hidden from search engines
    • Most of the major social media sites are “no-follow” links
    • Certain social media pages have a very transient web life
    • Many social media pages have no search topic relevance

    The result is that Facebook, Twitter, etc., pages are usually search topic unrelated. That means a link from them is low value.

    How on earth can they offer any useful ranking signal relevance?

    “5. Keyword-optimized anchor text is bad for your SEO.”
    This seems to be another case of taking a Google statement out of context and twisting it to the article.

    The real statement should be, get caught by Google manipulating link building (which often includes anchor text manipulation) and you are likely to be in trouble.

    Sorry if this response disagrees with what you believe. Please detail where you think my SEO info is conflicting.

    Cory, You may find it useful to check the profile of any author you want to cite on any topic on FS.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198285
    Corey
    Member
    • Total posts: 568

    John,

    Never mind

    Cheers
    Corey

    #1198286
    Mischelle
    Member
    • Total posts: 805

    Nice feedback John, I do love your work and for taking the time out of your day to give so much advice.

    #1198287
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    chaase, post: 235824, member: 47813 wrote:
    To be fair though, Googlers never openly stated that keywords were no longer important.

    With Google unlike other search engines it’s not a case of no longer, they were never used by Google.
    The article under discussion is not talking about the keyword meta tag. It is talking about search keywords meaning, “search phrases”.

    That is why it goes on to talk about:

    “Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words”

    As it happens SEs have ALWAYS assessed the ranking value of individual words in search phrases. This is another example of the inaccurate info posted in the referenced article.

    IMHO, the above article statement is a beginner level SEO howler…

    I therefore find this a very ironic statement:

    “Google’s Hummingbird update seemed to shatter everything we knew about keywords and on-page SEO”

    No experienced/knowledgeable SEO will agree with either of these two quoted statements.

    But you don’t have to wait for them to comment. Any FS business owner can prove it to themselves ever so simply.

    All you have to do is some searches where you vary the sequence of the search words.

    Eg:
    plumber north shore sydney
    north shore sydney plumber
    north sydney plumber shore
    sydney plumber shore north

    With 700,000 search results there is only a small change in the top 10 results sequence for any of them.

    Now try the same search phrases but put them in quotes so Google gives exact phrase match results.

    The results are totally different. In fact, there are no exact match results for two of the phrases.

    Think about how people search. Average search sessions have been reported to be 4-5 searches. When people add a word, many type it in where ever their cursor is located. That means many session additional search phrases are non-sensical vs. spoken search phrase sequences.

    Experience, experimentation and logic shows us it is impossible for G to apply much ranking significance to the specific word sequence in a search phrase.

    On top of all the above, there is no mention of how SEs have been using and ranking synonyms for years.

    Eg: plumbing services north shore Sydney

    There is more variation in the top 10 with synonym searches but still 9 out of the 10 top websites are in the results.

    It seems to me there is really a lot to be desired about the accuracy, completeness and logic of the referenced article.

    Chaase,
    The Matt Cutts video is talking about the keyword meta tag. I’m afraid I don’t see its relevance in the context of this thread.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198288
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,175

    My opinion is that the meta tags are a critical selling point to prospective customers so every business who wants new enquiries should get them as close to perfect as possible.

    Think about how you choose the pages you click on when looking at Google results.

    The snippet is almost all of the info you have to go on at that point which makes it a critical piece of information to begin relationships with.

    #1198289
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 235840, member: 78928 wrote:
    My opinion is that the meta tags are a critical selling point to prospective customers so every business who wants new enquiries should get them as close to perfect as possible.

    Think about how you choose the pages you click on when looking at Google results.

    The snippet is almost all of the info you have to go on at that point which makes it a critical piece of information to begin relationships with.
    Hi Paul,
    Two different meta tags seem to be under discussion here.

    You are referring to the content description meta tag. That can be used in the search result page description.

    Chaase is referring to the keyword meta tag. That tag is not used by Google and no snippets from it are used in its search results descriptions.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198290
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    I actually like the products that company produces and have been a user for years but that article was so far off the mark! Which goes to show you can’t blindly trust everything you read, we still see some awful nonsense in sites that should not allow it, including Moz, SEL and other ‘big’ online marketing sites.

    #1198291
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642
    Aidan, post: 235956, member: 2298 wrote:
    I actually like the products that company produces and have been a user for years but that article was so far off the mark! Which goes to show you can’t blindly trust everything you read, we still see some awful nonsense in sites that should not allow it, including Moz, SEL and other ‘big’ online marketing sites.
    Too true, brother Aidan,

    Am I imagining it or are they all pushing out more “off the mark” articles as their software becomes less capable of assessing the growing array of important SE ranking parameters?

    Eg:
    A site’s ability to deliver results based on:

    • the searcher’s location
    • the algo component we used to call Universal search
    • the country based search engine used
    • when the query deserves freshness algo kicks in
    • mobile vs desktop search results
    • the search words used
    • the level of competition for a given search phrase

    I’d love to see them publish articles about how G’s algo updates have compromises the relevance of their tools.

    I’m not going to hold my breathe…
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1198292
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,175

    You raise a good point John.

    Some would say that some of the tools out there that are well known were created years ago in a simpler time and they have not kept up with the algo changes.

    They therefore have an interest in deflecting this widening chasm.

    #1198294
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi Dikwar,
    Seeing as how you asked…

    I don’t think I’ve seen an SEO site with so little info about who they are, their expertise, their experience, their clients or the results they’ve achieved over the years.

    Your SEO service page is uninformative.

    Your About Us is useless

    Your Facebook and Twitter pages also have no history.

    Why should anyone think you know anything about SEO?

    PS I did look up your LinkedIn page. It says you still live in India and that you are working as a Process Engineer consultant. Does this help your knowledge of SEO?
    JohnW

    #1198295
    JamesMawson
    Member
    • Total posts: 38
    JohnW, post: 234359, member: 6375 wrote:
    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

    IMHO, it looks to me like we have an SEO rescrambled article put before us.

    Shall we assess the article by its 5 mythical topics?

    “1. You shouldn’t build links for the sake of SEO.”
    Google has NEVER said don’t build links. Since its inception it has said, don’t artificially manipulate links for SEO purposes.

    AKA “You shouldn’t build links for the sake of SEO.”

    “2. Clicks don’t influence rankings.”
    This is another SEO Phantom myth (the ghost who walks and who will never die).

    If CTR was used as a ranking signal then over time, the top rankings of search results would be skewed by a decreasing number of websites.

    Why on earth should CTR suggest a “good” result?

    Most websites will show a very high bounce rate. People click through, see the page isn’t for them and go back to the search results.

    A “good” result may be where they finish their click-throughs. Not addressed in this argument!

    As for quoting Rand Fishkin in the article, it does not quote the interview with a Google employee on the topic where Fishkin backed down on this claim.

    I have trouble seeing the smallest smidgen of logic behind this myth when you think about it…

    CTR and long clicks/short clicks are definitely part of the algorithm.

    Check out Brian Dean’s stuff on how his “how to get high quality backlinks” post went right to the top of the SERPS for “how to get high”, then sunk like a rock when no stoners clicked on it. While his rankings for relevant keywords just kept rising.

    It would be weird if G didn’t pay any attention to these signals. They are the most direct measure of whether searchers like what G is showing them.

    “3. Keywords are no longer important.”
    “Apparently, keywords were being replaced by concepts and topics, and keyword targeting didn’t make much sense anymore.”

    What on earth is the basis for this statement? There is none to my knowledge, therefore the entire premise for this point collapses.

    “4. Social signals do not have SEO value.”
    Not this again…

    I predict that this myth is likely to replace the “keyword metatag” myth as the longest surviving SEO myth of ALL TIME.

    The current facts:

    • Google treats links from social media pages the same as from any other web page
    • Many social media pages are hidden from search engines
    • Most of the major social media sites are “no-follow” links
    • Certain social media pages have a very transient web life
    • Many social media pages have no search topic relevance

    The result is that Facebook, Twitter, etc., pages are usually search topic unrelated. That means a link from them is low value.

    How on earth can they offer any useful ranking signal relevance?

    “5. Keyword-optimized anchor text is bad for your SEO.”
    This seems to be another case of taking a Google statement out of context and twisting it to the article.

    The real statement should be, get caught by Google manipulating link building (which often includes anchor text manipulation) and you are likely to be in trouble.

    Sorry if this response disagrees with what you believe. Please detail where you think my SEO info is conflicting.

    Cory, You may find it useful to check the profile of any author you want to cite on any topic on FS.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    [Mod Edited to remove possibly inflammatory comment]

    #1198296
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi HG,
    I think I composed this before the Sysop modified your reply. No matter, I was not inflamed.

    I’m not correcting Corey, he only posted a link. It’s the article that I find has much to criticise. (That’s probably the “inflamed” bit the Sysop deleted.)

    If I sound crabby, impatient and pedantic, please forgive me and bear in mind that some of us FS old hands have written hundreds of posts over many years trying to correct so many of the same SEO myths over and over and over and over and over (ad infin.) again.

    I’m also NOT having a go at you with this reply as I know how hard it is for folk NOT in this tragic industry to cull out SEO fact from fiction.

    My SEO “accuracy meter” works on these principles.

    1. The primary source for info about SEO must be the SEs.
    2. You then have to apply logic and common sense.
    3. Finally there is the experience of the SEO article writer and whether there may be some bias in their baggage?

    The last is the easiest to check. Run any SEO article author’s name through LinkedIn and see how much SEO experience of relevance they really have and who they work for.

    Now let’s review the original posted link: “5 Big SEO Lies Google Wants You To Believe”.

    • It is dated 14 Jun 2016.
    • It’s posted on the website of a company that sells SEO tools for a living.

    No chance of any bias there, right? ;)

    Here is a video that discusses this issue of “engagement” as a Google algorithm signal with some of the best known, world-wide SEOs: “Google Q&A+ #March

    See the video 10 min mark for the CTR discussion.

    A transcript is here: WebPromo’s Q&A with Google’s Andrey Lipattsev

    The main man to listen for is Andrey Lipattsev of Google.

    The video is dated Mar 2016, 3 months before the posted article and one of the original article’s references (Rand Fishkin) is quoted as a proponent of CTR.

    Listen to how Fishkin starts looking for other explanations when the Googler says categorically, G does not use these parameters in its algo ranking signals.

    How come the article author ignores this in their CTR algo hypothesis?

    I know there is a long list of people who claim that Google uses CTR and a bunch of other site engagement metrics. Google has continually denied them all.

    To my mind, the most direct, incontrovertible reply from the Googler in the video is:

    “The disadvantages that I’ve most often seen described for this approach on a clear, pure ranking factor basis is that we’d (GOOGLE) need to have broad enough and reliable enough data about bounce rates, click-through rates, depth of view for the vast majority of pages and the vast majority of websites everywhere, in order to be able to make meaningful comparisons all the time.

    That is impossible, because we (GOOGLE) don’t have the technical means to do it.”

    Let me repeat that,

    That is impossible, because we (GOOGLE) don’t have the technical means to do it.

    In case anyone missed that,

    “…we (GOOGLE) don’t have the technical means to do it.

    If there is anyone confused by this statement, please send me a PM and I will explain it to you.

    Now let’s apply some common sense and logic…

    If G says it can’t measure these engagement metrics we are left with only two conclusions.

    Either people that espouse engagement signals as G. algorithm factors:

    • have a very incomplete knowledge G’s statements, or
    • they think Google is lying.

    With 22 years of following what SEs say and experience in what they do, I’ve never know G or any other SE to lie or leave uncorrected any statement about how their algos work.

    Think about it, if anyone caught G. or Bing intentionally lying about how its algorithms works, the courts would be clogged with $multi-million class action suits against it.

    To be able to measure the engagement metrics, every page on every website would need Analytics installed. What Percent of websites use Analytics? According to this survey it’s only 8%.

    Weird not to use engagement numbers?

    Quite the opposite. Results would become irrelevant if there was a high reliance on these sorts of “engagement” factors. Here are a few logical consequences:

    • Any site with a high mobile phone use rate would be penalised and start dropping down the results
    • That means B2B sites would be elevated in rankings as people access them on laptops and B2C sites would decrease because they tend to be more accessed by smart phones
    • Bricks and mortar websites would drop down the results because they are are relatively more frequently accessed on mobile phones
    • Any business that has many customers googling their phone number or address would drop down the rankings
    • Old sites would tend to be promoted in rankings and new sites would tend to drop down
    • Etc., etc., etc.

    As far as I’m concerned, every way we turn, we find “engagement” factors are impossible, irrelevant, illogical and misleading ranking factors that are denied by Google.

    Then we have what SE users want. They want:

    • Relevant answers
    • Accurate answers
    • QUICK answers
    • Choices for certain search types

    “Engagement signals” do NOT improve these answer parameters.

    IMHO, “engagement signals” are for social media sites, not search engine algorithms.

    SEO stuff is changing very rapidly. Perhaps I missed something very important. In which case I would value an update from you.
    Best regs,
    JohnW

    #1198297
    Aidan
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,125

    Great post JW, I’m still surprised by the numbers of folks who take some SEO writers at their word. I’ve pointed out some of those inaccuracies to Brian Dean myself and referred him to Google’s statements on those points but he prefers to roll with observations of correlation…

    …which to the wiser folk is ridiculous as eating ice cream does not cause hot weather even though the two are well correlated.

    #1198298
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    Hi Aidan,
    Thanks… A big compliment coming from you.

    FSs,
    Those not in the SEO business cannot imagine how handicapped SEO “newbies” are. Eg. I doubt many current Aust SEO consultants have been in it more than 5 years.

    The Google SE started in 1997. That means “newbies” who currently only have 5 years SEO under their experience belts, missed learning what happended to G’s algorithm evolution through 74% of G’s life. If they’ve been in the industry since 2010, they’ve still missed 68% of G’s history.

    No wonder so many SEO “newbies” want to rely on SEO tools and non-causal algorithm correlations.

    The current “click through rate” ranking factor debate seems to be resolving itself back to a “query deserves freshness” (QDF) ranking factor.

    Google declared QDF as a temporary algo ranking factor many years ago. I can find articles about it dated 2005.

    QDF discussion seems to have disappeared off the SEO radar and discussion articles for many years. I suspect many SEO “newbies” have never heard of it.

    Now it seems to be coming back with ranking factor myths such as:

    • social media mentions are a G ranking factor and,
    • CTR caused by large audiences who are all asked to crank out a specific search term at the same time.

    Please FS business owners, learn how to assess the quality of SEO consultants and put more research into your evaluation of them. If you don’t, you are just fat pigeons waiting to be plucked.
    Regs,
    JohnW

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